Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

by Britain and Russia, bound together as they are by the 20 years' Alliance,
are of high importance. Thus, they gain in the West and North territories
more important and more highly developed than they lose in the East, We
hear that a third of Poland is to be conceded, but I must mention that that
third includes the vast track of the Pripet Marshes, a most desolate region,
which; though it swells the acreage, does not add to the wealth of those
who own it.
Thus I have set before the House what is, in outline, the offer which the
Russians,, on whom the main burden of liberation still falls, make to the
Polish people. I cannot believe that such an offer should be rejected by
Poland. It would; of course, have to be accompanied by the disentangle-
ment of populations in the East and in the North. The transference of
several millions of people would have to be effected from the East to the
West or North, as well as the expulsion of the Germansóbecause that is
what is proposed : the total expulsion of the Germansófrom the area to be
acquired by Poland in the West and the North. For expulsion is the method
which, so far as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and
lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble^
as has been the case in Alsace-Lorraine. A clean sweep will be made. I
am not alarmed by the prospect of the disentanglement of populations, nor
even by these large transferences, which are more possible in modern
conditions than they ever were before.
" The disentanglement of populations which took place between Greece
and Turkey after the last warórny noble Friend opposite may rememberó
was, in many ways, a success, and has produced friendly relations between
Greece and Turkey ever since. That disentanglement, which at first
seemed impossible of achievement, and about which it was said that it would
strip Turkish life in Antolia of so many necessary services, and that the
extra population could never be assimilated or sustained by Greece having
regard to its own area and populationóI say that disentanglement solved
problems which had before been the causes of immense friction, of wars
and of the rumours of wars. Nor do I see why there should not be room in
Germany for the German populations of East Prussia and of the other
territories I have mentioned. After all, 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 Germans
have been killed already in this frightful war, into which they did not
hesitate, for a second time in a generation, to plunge all Europe. At the
present time, we are told that they have 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 prisoners
or foreigners used as slaves in Germany, who will, we hope, be restored to
their own homes and laiids when victory is gained. Moreover, we must
expect that many more Germans will be killed in the fighting which will
occupy the spring and summer and which we must expect will involve the
largest and fiercest battles yet fought in this war.
" When these ideas, which arose at the Teheran Conference, were first
foreshadowed by me to the House, the British and American armies had not
landed on the Continent. France was not liberated. She was powerless,
not like now when she is rising with great rapidity to a strong and fine position
among the nations of the world. The armies of General Eisenhower did
not stand along the Rhine when these matters were discussed. They were
still gathering in this island, not along the Rhine where they are now growing
in strength as the waves of American manhood cross the Atlantic and take
their places in the crusade and in the line of battle. Nor had the Russians
advanced to the Vistula; vast distances separated them even from the
frontiers of Poland. Nor was one large German army cut off in Courland,
the peninsula which has Memel and Libau at its base. Nor was there that
great position which the Russian armies held in the extreme north, with their